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  • Marc Lalonde

The emotions of teenagerhood can be a minefield, but parents have to step lightly

Updated: Sep 17


NOT my daughter, nor her friends. Putting a picture of her on the internet without her approval? Bad Idea jeans.

Without getting too much into specifics, because specifics when it comes to these types of things can be fraught with peril, both legal and emotional, I am the parent of a teenage girl. For all the bluster I have in the world, I don’t understand the female brain and all that swirls around inside of it at any one time.


It reminds me of the Marvel movie Captain America: Civil War, where no matter how much they love and respect one another, Captain America’s principles of doing the right thing all the time, and Tony Stark’s ethos of trying to constantly improve the human condition both end up backing the pair into a corner of conflict, no matter how much they try to avoid it.


My daughter and I both want the same thing – for her to be happy, healthy and for her to lead a life that is fulfilling. We just can’t seem to figure out the best way forward for us to both get to that point sometimes. I chalk it up to a divergence in our experiences and good, old-fashioned lack of dialogue on both our parts. Of course, I’m the adult in this scenario, so the onus is really on me to get better and spurring that dialogue.


So my daughter was not in a good place, emotionally speaking, when she came in from hockey the other night, and some other social-media nonsense was also ongoing, and all these factors weighed heavily on her mind.


The stress worried her so much that she stayed up till 3:30 a.m. and was definitely upset with, well, life in general. It’s days like that one where I am reminded, starkly, that no matter how much I would like to help with these situations, the best way for me to help would be to do nothing at all, or at the very least, just listen without judgment.


Thank goodness for hockey, and its return to prominence in her life. The return to routine will allow her to keep out of her own head and allow her to once more embrace her own worth from something she’s done, and not focus on something else that is out of her control.

It’s a fairly routine fall, so far, despite the constant hand-washing and disinfecting, the mask-wearing and the distancing. I mean, sports are looking largely the same, even if the people watching those sports do not look the same as they used to.


(Everybody has masks on and are 15 pounds heavier than last spring. Generally, anyway)


The work of parenting has changed once more. We are not being locked down, and there is some semblance of a regular schedule that kids know is happening and it can be counted on to A) keep them mentally and physically occupied and B) mostly out of mischief. Mostly, anyway.


In other news, the Lakeshore Football Association remains undefeated after three weeks of the 2020 season, with each of the four age-group teams – the 3-0 atom team (eight- and nine-year-olds), the 3-0 mosquito (10- and 11-year-olds), the 2-0 peewee squad (12- and 13-year-olds) and the 3-0 bantam group (14- and 15-year-olds) having proved worthy of their competition to date.


It’s a pretty unique situation and speaks to the level of organization and the abilities of each individual coaching staff in terms of their ability to get the best from their players. It’s been a delight to be part of, and with any luck, we’ll find these four teams all still undefeated and playing for championships later on this season.


Great thing about football? Success is predicated on your work ethic in practice and your desire to compete in games. There’s not much more to it than that. Diligent work and consistent effort in applying that work ethic is so important.


This weekend, the Cougars will put their undefeated records on the line against the Alexander Park Hurricanes at George Springate Sports Centre in Pierrefonds – in mosquito (9 a.m.) and peewee (11 a.m.) -- while the bantams will take on the Chateauguay Raiders Friday night at 8 p.m. at Parc des benevoles in Kirkland, and the atoms will take on the Saint-Lazare Stallions at Westwood Park in Saint-Lazare Saturday at 1:30 p.m.


See you at the field.

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